Thursday, June 24, 2021

Sandra Cassandra by Shawna Lewis - Book Tour

 Sandra Cassandra

by Shawna Lewis


Seventeen and never had a boyfriend, Sandra is resigned to a life without romance.

 Everything changes when Fergus Hardisty, her father's fifty-something boss, proposes marriage. Mum and Dad seem keen on the idea, so she accepts. She might never get another chance. 

Yet why do Malcolm Pogson's eyes avoid his daughter's? What does he know about Hardisty that others don't, and why does he cringe with shame when no-one is looking? 

The wedding is lovely, but those watching from a distance know it takes more than a fancy dress and a silver horse-shoe to compensate for marriage to a bloke like Hardisty. They will be watching. 

Home alone, obliged to keep the house as it always has been, Sandra spends her days examining her own failings. When things go wrong and sad things happen, she blames herself, fearing the power of her own thoughts. Is she evil? She must learn to empty her mind so no-one else can be harmed. 

Compassion and healing come from unexpected sources until, slowly, the kindness of strangers leads Sandra from darkness into light and prospects of future fulfilment. 

This is a coming-of-age novel about power: the power of dominance over submission; of vanity over values; good over bad and kindness over cruelty. 

It also shows the positive power of the human will in supporting the young, the weak and the helpless. The power of ordinary people doing ordinary things transforms Sandra's life and points her way ahead.

Information about the Book

Title: Sandra Cassandra

Author: Shawna Lewis

Release Date: 17th June 2021

Genre: Fiction

Page Count: 284

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing

Amazon Link: 

Excerpt “This is a special occasion, Pamela.” That was Mr Hardisty’s voice. “Haven’t you got anything stronger?”

What special occasion was that? Sandra wondered. Perhaps next door’s tabby had had its kittens. They were about due. She rubbed her hair dry, climbed into jeans and sweatshirt and started downstairs. If the kittens had arrived, she was keen to see them.

When the lounge door opened, Mr and Mrs Pogson and Fergus turned to greet her. They had glasses in their hands. Sherry glasses, with sherry in them. Mr Hardisty took care not to spill it on his coat. A lot of fuss over a litter of kittens, she thought.

“Congratulations, my darling.” Her mother rushed over and hugged her tearfully. “Well, fancy you keeping all this to yourself!”

Sandra stared at the three adults in turn.

“Dad’s just been telling me that Mr Hardisty, Fergus, wants you to be his wife! Such an honour! Quite the successful businessman, he is. You’ve done well for yourself. You’ll want for nothing.”

Mrs Pogson thought smugly of Sally, her friend Josie’s girl, engaged to that Gary Gentry who was no more than a road-sweeper, though he did call himself an Environmental Operative. And she was pregnant, Mrs Pogson was sure. They mostly were, these days...if they bothered to get married at all, that is. Half of them were living over the brush and proud of it, but not her Sandra. Not now. What a weight that would be off her mind.

“The wedding will be lovely,” she went on. “I’m so looking forward to it; something happy to look forward to after all the funerals.”

Three of Sandra’s grandparents had died in the last eighteen months, plus Uncle Archie – Dad’s uncle, he was. Yes, it would do Mum good to have a wedding to plan.

Sandra was still unable to speak. Her eyes sought out her father’s. He was looking rather emotional but saying nothing. His complexion was normally florid – something to do with high blood pressure – but now he seemed pale. His eyes glittered. Malcolm Pogson’s voice, when it came, was hesitant; hoarse.

“Yes love. Congratulations. You must do all you can to make Fergus happy ... and I’m sure he’ll do the same for you.”

“Indeed, indeed.” Fergus’s laugh was bombastic.

“There’s just one proviso, however,” Dad went on. “I really must insist that Sandra finishes her schooling. The wedding must wait until after her A Levels.”

“But that’s over a year away,” said the groom-to-be, his left hand hovering over his breast pocket. “I don’t think I can wait that long. And Sandra will be eighteen in September, so we can marry then, with or without your consent, Malcolm. But I will agree to her staying on at school until the exams ... no reason why not. She’ll have plenty of time for studying while I’m out on business. It will keep her occupied so she won’t miss Mum and Dad too much.” He smiled indulgently.

Malcolm Pogson was silenced. Was it his daughter’s imagination, or did he look crestfallen?

He seemed to be avoiding her eyes. Why was that? She thought the world of her father; would do anything to please him. His face was smiling, but not at her. It was as if a pane of glass had slid down from the ceiling, cutting him off from his daughter.

Silence filled the pause.

At last Malcolm seemed to rouse himself; he stepped forward to put an arm around her shoulders and propose a toast.

“To my little girl: may she be happy in her life...” he choked on his words, “...with Fergus.”

Author Information

I was born above the family grocery shops in a northern seaside town, started school aged three and at five was sailing to Australia with my parents and sibling, to be taken in by distant relatives who were already building a house for us. My memories of that time are of nothing but kindness, of making do and mending, and the maxim, “Do as you would be done by.”

Back in England, teaching was to be my main career. Later, I had a few magazine articles published and for several years worked as a freelance journalist for two local newspapers. Often with a small boy on the back of my bike, I would pedal around to any event worthy of a few lines. This gave me an insight into the workings of small communities, where most people have grown up alongside one another and know instinctively who can be trusted and who must be avoided. Insights gained during those times  helped frame some of the characters in Sandra Cassandra.

Tour Schedule

Monday 14th June


Tuesday 15th June


Wednesday 16th June


Thursday 17th June


Friday 18th June


Saturday 19th June


Sunday 20th June

Alex’s Books

Monday 21st June

Donna’s Book Blog

Tuesday 22nd June


Wednesday 23rd June


Thursday 24th June

Jazzy Book Reviews

Friday 25th June


Saturday 26th June

Bookish Blue

Sunday 27th June


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